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The near-misses of Markus Golden

Posted by Darren Urban on September 20, 2017 – 10:49 am

Chandler Jones is off to a smoking start this season, with three sacks in two games and causing consistent havoc. Markus Golden, the team’s sack leader from 2016, definitely made an uptick in pressures in Week 2, after struggling to make much of an impact in Detroit Week 1. Pro Football Focus had Golden with a single QB pressure against the Lions, and had him with five against the Colts. After re-watching Golden’s play in both games, I’ll agree with the assessment.

Originally, watching in real time, I thought Golden had missed out on maybe three or four sacks already. A review changed my mind, and put the number at two (although I’m sure Golden is disappointed he didn’t get those two.) I thought Golden was closer on one in Detroit, a third-and-12 play in which Lions QB Matthew Stafford spun away and was able to get a pass off when it looked like a sack was inevitable. Golden was close, but Corey Peters was closer and it’s still hard to believe Stafford got away.

Against the Colts, Golden’s two near-misses came early in the game. The first came with Golden face-to-face with Jacoby Brissett and getting both hands on him, only to have the QB sidestep long enough to throw the ball away. The second (pictured) was even more painfully close, although Brissett was eventually “sacked” by linebacker Josh Bynes because he was forced out-of-bounds behind the line of scrimmage. Both were second-and-long plays.

The sacks will come. As Bruce Arians said, “one thing about Junk, you know he’s going full speed.” (Junk is short for Golden’s nickname, Junkyard Dog). Watching every Golden pass rush, that’s what you notice, the effort. It’s got to land, though. With the Cardinals’ offense suffering through fits and starts, the defense has to lead the way, and Golden needs to be near the front of the line.


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45 Responses to “The near-misses of Markus Golden”

  1. By mitchaz on Sep 20, 2017 | Reply

    Darren—

    Did you get any added info on why Cap Capi was waived?

    Today the Cardinals re-signed Philip Wheeler, which seems odd in that Deone Bucannon is about ready to play…and that Wheeler is not a 34OLB.

    I just want to try to get some closure because I saw Capi play with a discipline and passion in ways I have not seen from any Cardinals OLB. While I think very highly of Golden and Jones as pass rushers, they constantly bite on play fakes and bootlegs and consistently lose contain. Cape showed a knack for sniffing out misdirection plays and even picking up crossing TEs in coverage.

    For that matter, do you know why the coaches did not want to bring Sio Moore back? His 12 tackle performance versus Russell Wilson and the Seahawks was outstanding. No Cardinals’ ILB I have seen has played Wilson’s read option as perfectly as Moore did.

  2. By Darren Urban on Sep 20, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz —

    RE: Capi

    I’ll just say it’s hard to know exactly how well a player is playing, and how disciplined he’s playing, without knowing the playcall, etc.

  3. By Scott H on Sep 20, 2017 | Reply

    Hope Junk will keep up the efforts and that good things will follow. I’d also like to ask him how much he misses Calais Campbell these days….

  4. By Scott H on Sep 20, 2017 | Reply

    So, if one were to rank the NFC teams according to a 4-tier system, where would people put the Cardinals right now?

    Anyone want to get in on this?

    Here’s what I came up with. And within the tiers, teams are in no particular order.

    Tier 1 –
    Falcons
    Lions
    Packers
    Seahawks

    Look, I trust the Seahawks defense and I trust Aaron Rodgers. What can I tell you? I believe those entities will restore a proper order to things over time. BUT I also think the Seahawks O-line situation is going to counter what their defense can do over time.

    Tier 2 –
    Buccs
    Panthers
    Eagles
    Cowboys

    Tier 3 –
    Rams
    Vikings
    Redskins
    Cardinals

    Give the Vikings an asterick because with a healthy Sam Bradford, they looked pretty damn good. If not for that injury, the Vikes are probably in Tier 1. I’d LOVE a reason to kick the Seahawks out.

    And per this ranking, the Cardinals are not a playoff team.

    Tier 4 –
    Saints
    49ers
    Giants
    Bears

    There ya go. Right now, I can’t put the Cardinals any higher than that.

  5. By creditcard on Sep 20, 2017 | Reply

    I remember coaches continually saying “it takes no talent to hustle”. Marcus Golden obviously has talent, and he sure does hustle. Add those two things together, and you get a really good player.

    I cannot say this about the Cards offensive line. I wish all ten of our offensive linemen had Marcus Golden’s effort. I think our linemen tend to forget to move their feet during a play,or move their buns down field after a catch. You just don’t see great effort by the O-linemen.

    I really dislike the Cowboys, but I will have to hand it to them, when you look at their O-linemen — they work during a play, ours do not.

    The last Card O-lineman to really work during a game was Lyle Sendlein. He was always engaged with someone on a pass or run play, and as soon as a completion was made or a long run — you can see Sendlein running down field to slam someone for additional yards. I just don’t see that kind of effort with our current O-line.

  6. By georgiebird on Sep 20, 2017 | Reply

    Golden is one of my favorite Cards’ players. However, he is not FAST enough to play OLB. He is at lest 2 steps slower than the real good edge rushers- and thus the near misses.

  7. By shannon robinson on Sep 20, 2017 | Reply

    What do y’all say if the Cards outgain the Dallas Cowboys on the ground?

  8. By dynosoar on Sep 20, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Tier 1 (2-0 teams)
    Tier 2 (1-1 teams)
    Tier 3 (0-2 teams)

    I don’t rate teams based on “what ifs” (Although I may be the only one on the planet who doesn’t) because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if Aaron Rodgers is on the team or injured (or any other player), at the end of the day it’s about record and tiebreaks. No more, no less.

    And that puts us with the Seahawks at tier 2, sorry I couldn’t help you there. However, watching both teams, I’d say we barely lost to a very good Lions team and the Seahawks were crushed by a Packers team probably about as good as the Lions.

    I still believe we CAN sweep this division. We’ll see, one game at a time. Now on to beating those Cowboys.

  9. By dynosoar on Sep 20, 2017 | Reply

    I agree with JTDG’s assessment from the last article. I finally watched the game and my impressions:

    1. All I saw the Colts cheerleaders doing was standing, pom-poms on their hips. Never saw a cheer, that can’t be good.

    2. I saw a lot of Budda Baker. He may only have 6 tackles, but I saw a lot of him.

    3. As someone else mentioned, the TEs had some good catches early and then disappeared, that was also a head scratcher (unless this is like chess and BA is learning what his different pieces are and are not capable of against a team he knows we can beat.)

    4. Fitzgerald on one play fought hard for a few extra yards, he still wants to win, he’s hungry.

    5. There were a couple plays Carson had open field in front of him and he held the ball and passed (I believe both were incomplete.) Stafford and Brissett both took off in similar situations for 10+ yards each. Stafford got a first down diving head first.

    6. In my experience looking at stats, very few (like 0 – 1 only each season) of QBs with under 60% passing are in the playoffs. 60% does seem to be the dividing line between being on TV or watching TV during the playoffs.

    7. Lastly, @faster, do you think we should start Stanton against the Cowboys? You really should voice your opinion on this because I’d love to hear you weigh in on that thought 🙂

    I don’t believe we’ve fallen out of even Super Bowl contention, I do believe our team needs to step up and not drop the ball (yeah, bad pun) when Palmer throws it to them. I also am thrilled to see Chris Johnson back.

    It felt as if BA was trying to find his feature back this game by playing them all and seeing what they’ve got. I wondered as good as Ellington is in space, why he’s not doing punt returns, but KW does pretty well also. I also liked how hungry CJ2K looked.

  10. By Coach K on Sep 20, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    Golden reminds me of Steeler D-end James Harrison in many ways. The only difference is Harrison’s massive strength. His workouts are ticket worthy. I see Golden as a young version of Harrison and if he continues to get stronger in the weight room and learns how to dominate the edge and stop plays cold, we will have something special. He’s only tapping 50% of his true potential.

    I wanted to say a few word about Monday night as well. I feel we will beat the Cowboys with Chris Johnson getting at least 25 running plays and our tight ends getting involved in the offense more. It is time for Troy Niklas to put his man pants on and start playing football like a man. I am so sick and tired of watching this big man under-perform.

    It’s time for Niklas to get his ass in gear and start ballin. Against the Dallas Defense, the tight ends are going to be open especially if CJ2K has a good rushing game keeping the linebackers up tight.

    Those are my two offensive keys for this game Darren. CJ2K and Troy Niklas stepping up and making life easier for Palmer.

    CJ2K with 25 or more carries and Niklas targeted at least 5 times in this game will open the big plays BA likes to call from time to time.

    I’m looking for CJ2K and Niklas as the key’s to victory Monday night. Time to step up.

  11. By clssylssy on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    After only two weeks, I think it’s too early to tell anything. For what I’ve seen out of the NFC mostly is awful ugly football that doesn’t even measure up to professional standards except maybe from a few teams. I know stats and records are what drives many fans but for me it comes down to !) the eyeball test; how do they perform 2)the coaching/playcalling 3) the cumultive heart/desire to win, Sounds simple, but is why some teams start slow and build as they build to contenders, despite the odds.
    Of course for me, the litmus test for the Cards will always be our Superbowl year and how we compare to that team of mutts and an over the hill guy trying to revive his career.This team has Star power but, as someone pointed out, lacks hustle or the heart to believe they can win (although they give a lot of lip service to it). BA came on the scene full of energy and was a bright light that served to get his players through the rough waters of a few seasons but now seems to be losing that same brightness//effectiveness We have a couple of guys who are trying to finish their careers out on top and carry the weight best, but, it seems that many of our younger guys don’t feel any sense of urgency to win.
    Just as players age, so do coaches and I am not seeing that same firey, creative, and annimated guy in BA that was there early on & which, I believe makes a huge impact on how our players do their jobs. I believe in leading by example and nothing that this FO has done send a message that we want to win because the organization hasn’t really been willing to put forth the effort and money to bring in the best players to help our guys win. I love having the wise Yodas like Tom Pratt and BA but we lack the youthful sharpness of the Todd Haleys, who could relate to our pllayers more on their level and get that something extraa out ofo them.
    In the NFC West I see a freshness and hunger in the Rams and even the 9ers that make me nervous and worry me more than the Seahawks, who we have been able to figure out and play well bc we respect their combined skills and “take-no-prisoners” mantra.
    The only way I see for us to be a contender is to take every week a win at a time,put in the work, and stay focused on the task at hand. We have not been able to do that as simple as it sounds. If the Cowboys beat us, it will be bc we let them and were overconfident in our own house. We have the talent to exploit their weaknesses but we will need to play smart. Ultimately, I think it will come down to who does the better job at coaching.
    Let’s Protect the Nest, Win our home opener with oassion, and give some second thoughts to those around the country who thought they knew something about us.
    Time to Shock the World…AGAIN!

  12. By Scott H on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    shannon –

    I’ll say that’s great – if it happens!

    Going into this game, I point out that Dallas has one of THE best O-lines in the NFL and they still have their stud RB. Our offense seems to have shifted to more of a passing game focus with DJ out. And I’m expecting this to be a higher scoring game.

    Those factors don’t seem to lend themselves to the Cardinals out-gaining them on the ground.

    But at least with CJ back, our run game gets some credibility back..

    Again, would LOVE to see it.

  13. By JTDG on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Shannon,

    I would say to your question, if the cards out rush the cowboys, the cards win. I’m not saying they have to out rush the boys to win, but if they do, they will win for sure.

    But, I don’t think it is likely for the reasons Scott H brings up. The cards don’t need to out rush them, they just need an effective running game to slow D Law and crew from killing Palmer.

    If they can get Dallas to at least respect the run, maybe the line can give Palmer enough time to hit Fitz and company.

    On the flip side, if the cards generate no run game, well I have two words for Palmer, look out.

    Key to the game is simple. Stop Dallas from dominating the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense. If the cards can do that, we can win the game.

  14. By mitchaz on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    clssy—

    Great post and excellent summary of where the team is to this point.

    The only thing I would question is whether it’s the young players or the veterans who lack the urgency to win.

    In two games, what has the team gotten from its highest paid players?

    Carson Palmer ($24M)
    Chandler Jones ($17.5M)
    Larry Fitzgerald ($16M)
    Patrick Peterson ($14M)
    Jared Veldheer ($10M)
    Mike Iupati ($9.7M)
    Tyrann Mathieu ($8.1M)
    Jermaine Gresham ($7.5M)
    Drew Stanton ($4M)
    Corey Peters ($3.6M)
    Justin Bethel ($3.5M)
    Antoine Bethea ($3.4M)

    Thus far, how many of these veterans are playing at a level that is commensurate with their salaries?

  15. By Coach K on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    By game five and beyond, this is the offensive line I see starting for the Cards:

    LT- Humphries
    LG- Iupati
    C- Boehm
    RG- Boone
    RT- Wetzel

    These guys offer the best offensive line we can put on the field. Dropping Veldheer was difficult, but I can see he no longer has max effort in the game. Something is different about him and I think he’s done with football.

    So these are the five I expect to see starting by the fifth game.

  16. By Darren Urban on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K —

    RE: OL

    I respectfully say that will not happen.

  17. By clssylssy on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Mitchaz…
    Good point & I think it is a little of both. I do think these days guys make it into the NFL & believe they’ve made it to the promise land & all will be gravy & enforcements from that point. The real greats have become elite b/c they put in the work 12 months/year &, are devoted to study,& take care of themselves.
    We don’t seem to see guys “develop” until their 3rd year & I have to wonder about the correlation between looming FA/possibility of big contract & hustle?
    FWIW, I believe in merit based pay,incentives,leadership,& contibution to the project. I think some players do tend to get a little too comfortable once they get that big contract & have to work constantly to redefine their goals and push themselves.
    Kinda ironic that the hardest working Veteran right now is the guy getting paid the least!

  18. By JTDG on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K and Darren;

    Oline ;

    Coach k, I agree with you about the oline. Darren, I agree it will never happen.

    I voiced here several times, I would have moved Veldheer to a team hungry for a LT (ie Jax). Whatever compensation I could get, I would take.

    I believe Iupati is a liability in pass pro. I think Shipley is very limited. He is short, overweight and has T-Rex arms. I think Veldheer is not comfortable at RT and needs to be moved to another team needing a LT.
    Boehm has been up and down, but I can’t believe he is not better than Shipley.
    Can you believe it? Wetzel is our best Olineman right now?
    Boone should be starting the rest of the year also.

  19. By JTDG on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz;

    I would say the three earning their money are Chandler Jones, who is off to a hot start, and Pat P, who goes unnoticed because very little comes his way and Larry, well Larry does what he is supposed to do. He could have had a couple big plays in the first game if Palmer was more accurate.

    I would say question marks on many of the others. Veldheer is struggling and considered retirement when moved to the RT spot. Iupati has had one good year (2015) for the cards. Badger struggled last year and before the pick in overtime, had been non existent in this defense.

  20. By CARDS62 on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz

    I agree mostly with your list, and would like to see more from Honey Badger, but he did win us this game so I have to take him off the list. Offense and special teams were bad and he won the game for us.

    Gresham can not fault him because he was body slammed. Hope the defender was fined big time, and it is not his fault our QB will not throw the ball to TEs.

    I want Palmer to start the Cowboy game, but Card Fans I do remember Gabbert throwing more to our TEs in preseason. I know its preseason but it does make me curious to see if he will throw more during regular season. Watching our WR and run game I think we have to use our TEs a lot more than we do. Hope Gabbert is 2nd string for Cowboy game and we do not need him, but I am worried about Palmer for 2nd year in a row.

    Go Cards!

  21. By JTDG on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Dynosaur,

    I agree whole-heartily. If our cheerleaders are standing around with their hands on their hips like in Indy, we have no chance.

    They better be at the top of their game. 🙂

  22. By Dr. G. on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Yeah, been absentee for awhile…boring draft.

    MITCHAZ… Going back to your Colts wrap…some obvious points, some obvious detail…but, a BRILLIANT composition. Normally, I will pass on the verbose posts, but you draw the reader in with your exacting “correct” detail. Cudos…

    As I read, your main point threaded throughout is “discipline, passion, and effort.” Right on! Playing smart as well is key in your post and anything I write. Coaches need to come down hard on this…go all out for maybe 25 actual minutes tops. The rest of the time is standing around on D or O.

    And, many agree on the skill set you list for Gabbert…he needs to get some time in practice and perhaps slip in if we EVER get a comfortable lead. A regular coaching staff for him would certainly help! Reps, man reps.

    Hey Darren! …ScottH…jtdg…classy…CoachK…et.al…

    Be well Cards Fans

  23. By D on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    I don’t have a good feeling about this upcoming game..I do not like the Cowboys and their RB, but he has the ability to make the AZ defense look even more old and slow if that’s possible. Cards defense needs to stop Dallas on First downs and put Dak in passing situations.

  24. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K…..I always pay attention to your comments. I am a fan of CJ2K but I cannot imagine he will get anything near 25 carries, especially if we are playing from behind. As for Niklas, five targets is not out of the question but it would be nice if he caught a couple and got some meaningful yards and a first down or two. As for the game, I really have no idea what to expect from eIther team. They were both terrible last week. I was really looking forward to this game when the schedule was announced in April. Now, not so much. Same as our game at home vs the Giants on Dec 24th. I anticipated an exciting game with play-off implications for both teams. Unless things change drastically the game won’t mean much for either team.

  25. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    clssylssy….star power? on our team? I haven’t seen any yet, especially on offense. I hope we get better but my expectations this year are low. Hope I’m wrong. As for Arians, I tuned him out a long time ago. According to him, it’s always someone else’s fault and there is nothing wrong with his coaching or preparation. We lose, according to him, because the players did not play well enough. I am not a fan of the Patriots but at least their coach will say sometimes after a loss that he and his staff need to coach better and his team fixes things and comes out and plays much better next time out. We need to play better, much better. Will we or are we going to be slow starting and predictable as usual?

  26. By Scott H on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Dr. G –

    Well, welcome back, my friend! Nice to hear from you again. Hope you are well. Your participation has been missed, so I’m hoping you are back for real.

  27. By mitchaz on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG—

    I agree with your assessments…and it’s interesting that BA called out the “% Star Players” for not making enough plays in the Lions’ game. I am not sure how many of those players are 5 star anymore, but they are still being paid like it.

    The curious thing about the top paid players is that next year it could very well be that the two players you lauded, Jones and Peterson, will be the only ones left on the roster. Although, Honey badger is going to have to have another tough year for them to really consider not paying him his $5M roster bonus in March and thus move into the back end portions of his lucrative deal.

    CARDS62—

    What encouraged me about Honey Badger versus the Colts was that he got stronger and faster and more decisive as the game went on. Versus the Lions he was a step slow in coverage, but then again he was covering Golden Tate whom I thought Patrick peterson should have been covering all along.

    Dr. G—

    Thanks for the positive feedback. As for playing smart, i just hope BA finally chips the good DEs, especially on 3rd downs. And using a lead blocker or keeping a RB in to protect on passing downs could really help. BA says they don’t change the offense for anyone. But maybe that’s more of a problem, than a strength.

  28. By Scott H on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    I’ve been feeling like I’ve needed something to put a charge into me ( frankly, the way this team has played so far has ranged mostly between boring and frustrating )….to get the blood pumping…..to get me fired up…..and I know now that that SOMETHING finally found me!

    Yesterday, listening to sports talk radio out here in Philly, I was listening to a couple of jabronies combing through the NFC, taking note of how weak the conference looks so far. Then, they got to the Lions…..and the comment was made by one of them that they’re not buying into the Lions yet because they’ve beaten up on a couple of “stifs” so far in the first two weeks.

    Stiffs.

    Um…..that includes the Cardinals.

    Alright, that’s it. It’s on now! Leave it to the Philly sports media – they never cease to get me riled. God Bless ’em!

    NOW, for the first time this ( forgettable ) season, I feel like I have a pulse. Hey, it’s alright for me to criticize my own team but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna listen to a couple of Philly morons dismiss MY team as a stiff.

    NOW, I’m ready for some football.

    And seriously, if we can’t stand up in our home opener and show that we should be taken seriously in the NFC, in the Monday Night spotlight, against “America’s Team”, then…..that is just damn sad.

    Need to see it now, fellas. Because if we don’t see it now…..maybe it’s just not there.

  29. By Coach K on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Johnny Bluenose

    Get your spirits up for this Monday night game. I can assure you the Red Sea will rise Monday night and you will see a hungry Chris Johnson make a statement for the team since being cut. He’s going to send a message to Keim and BA and I think 25 carries easily.

    Our Defense is going to set the tone early and look for a pick 6 from Badger or PP early in this game. The Dallas quarterback will be under siege all night and will make several turnovers. Cardinals will shut down the run game and force Cowboys into passing problems.

    If we take away Beesly with Budda Baker or Honey Badger, we will force the deep ball and play right into our hands.

  30. By clssylssy on Sep 21, 2017 | Reply

    Scott…
    Thank you! You just made my day…actually still laughing out loud, and that in itself sums up our situations !

  31. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K…..I certainly hope you’re right

  32. By Scott H on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    clssy –

    Always here for ya!

    I’m feeling a pulse of my own right now…..now, let’s see a pulse from this team.

    Seriously. I’m sick of seeing a flat team. I’ll be dammed if I’m staying up until 1:00 in the morning to watch 4 more quarters of that. Give me something to WANT to stay up for! Give us some damn excitement.

  33. By JTDG on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H and clssy,

    I have felt the same way. For some reason, I am not that excited about watching the cards play. I mean, I sat in 115 degree weather in sun devil stadium to watch them go 4-12 and was more excited about going to the games than now,

    Then I watched Thursday night football. I saw passion. I saw youth. I saw growing pains but also hope. I think that is what is missing this year.

    Now that DJ is hurt, who on this offense gives you hope of the future. I mean Palmer and Fitz will soon be gone. The Oline is a mess. JJ Nelson? Maybe. Let’s string some good games together. The defense has some exciting players in Reddick and Baker to go with Jones, Golden and Peterson, but even the defense is missing something.

    Be honest, if you were not a card fan, how long would it have been before you turned the channel on that Card/Colt game? For that matter, the Lion/card game? They were boring. They are flat. Something is missing.

    I hope the players feel the passion you two are talking about. I can barely stay awake after the first two.

  34. By Dr. G on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    Way back when…we sat in ASU stadium in much less than suitable conditions watching “home games” for visiting teams…the worst fans were from Dallas.

    This drew some of us to having 2 favorite teams, the Cards and whoever is playing the Cowboys…you heard this from me before. For this game, I therefore have a double jinx ready for them!

    Now, since ’06, we have a raucous crowd that is not so welcoming shouting the Dalass, Texass fans down. ((I love Texas, just not the Cowboys))

    Some of you are renewing my call for BA to coach the whole team instead of being just the OC. The risk it//biscuit approach has its place, but ‘ tis not solid football at the NFL level on a continuum. And, no offense intended; he has had good tenure here…it is probably time to pass the baton to a younger man who can endure the physical and mental grind. Deny or not, his frail health is a factor affecting enthusiasm and judgment. He needs to take care of himself now.

    Be well Cards Fans….this game is a must win.

  35. By JTDG on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    Dr G,

    no risk it, no biscuit. If only the organization bought into it

    To risk it, means to do what is needed, to take a chance, even against the norm. To a front office it means to find FAs who could get you over the hump and risk cap issues down the road to win it all today.

    Instead, we play it safe so they can say we have 30 million (could be as high as 60 million) in cap room in 2018. Look how well I am managing the cap.

    Yet you have a team with holes all through it.

    Because this team has not risked it in FA, there will be no biscuit at the end of the year.

  36. By clssylssy on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    Dr G.
    Good to have you back. Would you believe that when I first came to Arizona, I was unaware that we had a NFL team and ran out and bought four season tickets that I couldn’t even give away (“Why didn’t you get Suns tickets was the normal response),, then came Plummer and a spark of enthusiasm. Since then we’ve been down more than up, but at least since getting the stadium we, more or less, have a fanbase, and we’ll always have the magical SB year.
    Hope last night’s TNF will serve as a catalyst to get things moving again, We need some of whatever is working for them in California.

  37. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG….You are absolutely right about the lack of enthusiasm and passion that our Cardinals have shown for most of 2016 and so far this year, especially compared to what we both saw from the 49ers and the Rams last night. As it happens, my daughter and my sister are vacationing in California and they were at the game (Section 103, end zone) and I was very happy that it was a high scoring, exciting game. We are so slow and methodical on offense and yet nothing seems to change. If we continue to flounder we need to see what Gabbert, a mobile quarterback, can do. Is he the future or not? It would be nice to know.

  38. By Scott H on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    Geez….an awful lot of excitement for the Rams all of the sudden! But, c’mon – how many years did they spend being utterly HOPELESS, as in consistently one of THE worst teams in the league?? And suddenly, we’re envying THEM?? Feeling like THEY know what they’re doing and THEY really have their #&!$ together??

    A bit much.

    Yeah, the coaching change and their young QB might have them heading in the right direction, but….three games doesn’t mean they have arrived. They won two games against bad teams, lost to a team that is totally middle-of-the-road. If they go 8-8 this year, they would be thought of as one of the most improved teams in the league.

    Let’s see how they fare over a 16-game season.

    All that said, I DO envy the intensity they are playing with. We sure ain’t seeing much of that here….yet.

    But that makes me feel more DIScouraged by what I see from the Cardinals than ENcouraged by what I see from the Rams.

  39. By clssylssy on Sep 22, 2017 | Reply

    Scott…
    Man,I really can’t stand the Rams but that has to do more with Greg Williams, Fisher, & the fact that in the Williams era they played to hurt our players. That said, did you see that game Thursday? As much as it pains me I have to acknowledge a well played game as well as give credit to Mr. Kroneke for spending the money to bring in the extra pieces they needed to complete an already talented young roster & risk going with a young unproven coach.
    Believe me, I hate the thought of getting passed by the Rams or the 9ers but they have found a way to infuse a sense of belief in their team & fanbase that is admirable. A new billion dollar stadium helps but that’s not all of it.
    I do share your frustration & dismay but also feel like I’m approaching acceptance of something I have no control over.

  40. By mitchaz on Sep 23, 2017 | Reply

    Here’s what gets me excited and what gives me hope. I take some risks here but this is what I see and like.

    Amidst the recent struggles the Cardinals have had over the past 20 games, I am finding myself feeling very excited and encouraged about the emerging youth on this football team. Steve Keim built the current roster in such a way that the younger players can bring much needed energy and enthusiasm to what is otherwise a largely veteran team. Here are some of the players (by position) to feel very encouraged about:

    QB:

    Blaine Gabbert: Gabbert is only 27 years old and he brings a dimension that few of the recent Cardinals’ QBs have had — a combination of size, arm strength and above average mobility. If you saw how the Broncos beat up on the Cowboys with trevor Siemien at QB, Siemien’s ability to bootleg and shift the pocket was superb and it kept the Cowboys’ defense off-balance and on their heels all afternoon. This is what Gabbert can bring to the Cardinals’ offense, if and when he gets his chance. Better yet, Gabbert has a superior skills set to Siemien’s. Had Gabbert grown up in the Broncos’ system I have no doubt that he would be considered one of the top QBs in the NFL today.

    RB:

    David Johnson: Not only is Johnson one of the most dynamic combo running back and receiver the NFL has seen in recent years, he is thoroughly lovable as a human being. Ever kind and humble, Johnson is like the golden retriever who will do anything to bring a smile to your face. With Larry Fitzgerald on the verge of retiring, Johnson will now become the hard-working, modest face of the franchise, hopefully for the better part of the next decade.

    T.J. Logan: Can’t wait to see him healthy. Logan’s speed and his aggressiveness are a formidable one-two punch. He is a home run waiting to happen in the return game and out of the backfield.

    WR:

    J.J. Nelson: There is something magical about J.J. Nelson, not just because he has legitimate 4.28 speed, but because he has remarkable body control. BA said it best about Nelson…he’s a speed guy who can cut and change direction without losing speed or the ability to track the football.

    Carlos Agudosi: The way he moves for a WR his size is stunning. It is amazing that Rutgers did not do more to maximize his skills. Tall, angular WRs are becoming quite an asset in today’s NFL. Look at what issues WRs like Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin are presenting to NFL defenses. The Cardinals have one of their own in Agudosi if they can develop him.

    TE:

    Ricky Seals-Jones: Again, the combination of length and speed with Jones is akin to that of Agudosi’s. Jones was starting to emerge as a bona fide receiving threat the last couple games of the pre-season. His talent is unmistakable.

    OL:

    Evan Boehm: Boehm is a blue collar, smart, take nothing for granted type of competitor. He works his tail off and gets good results. Has an excellent combination of a strong base and superb upper body strength.

    John Wetzel: Give Wetzel an assignment and give him a week to prepare for it and he gets after it big-time. The thing i love about him is he is the best run blocking tackle on the roster and he has been making very good strides as a pass protector. Last week versus Jabaal Sheard and John Simon — Wetzel yielded 0 sacks and 0 QB pressures on 40 pass attempts. I think that for the past two years he has been one of the top 4-5 best offensive linemen on the roster and it’s now time to keep him in the starting lineup at either of the tackle spots.

    DT:

    Robert Nkemdiche: This guy is a keg of dynamite. What was so encouraging about him in the pre-season was that not only was he starting to blow up his side of the line, he was showing an increased ability to locate the football and to finish off plays. Once Nkemdiche has a taste of success in the regular season games he is going to be an indomitable force.

    OLB/DE:

    Markus Golden: They call him “Junk” as in junkyard dog because Golden is the epitome of tenacious and relentless. He’s a better athlete than he gets credit for, imo. He’s got an inate ability to out-muscle blocks and the short area quickness to change directions and find his way to the football. Here is a guy who leaves it all out on the field. Better yet, when BA said after week one that the offensive struggles kept the defense out on the field too long, which is why they tires at the end of the game, Golden wanted no part of that thinking. He said the defense should be able to handle any type of situation and that it’s on them to get it done.

    LB:

    Deone Bucannon: I still feel as if Deone Bucannon’s best football is ahead of him. Recently he’s been battling through injury and inconsistent play, but once he gets his feet back under him and once he starts trusting his instincts more regularly he is going to be a prolific playmaker. The thing about Deone is that he has always relished the physical aspects of the game.

    Haason Reddick: His versatility is eye-popping. Here’s a guy who can play ILB, OLB and SS because he’s a superb athlete with 4.4 speed who can chase, tackle, rush the passer and cover RBs and TEs. His background as a defensive back and defensive end at Temple has allowed him to attain a diversity of skills that in today’s NFL are in high demand.

    S:

    Budda Baker: Just as Reddick’s greatest strength is his versatility, the same can be applied to Budda Baker. There is little that this defensive back can’t do. He’s sticky in coverage. he has a nose for the football and he is a fundamental tackler who drives through the man, as evidence by the sure and swift tackle he made on Sydney Moncrief to force an all-important punt in the Colts game. The Cardinals love to invert their safeties and to use them, if possible as slot CBs, and Baker can handle all of these assignments. Plus, he is already emerging as a star on STs.

    Rudy Ford: The Cardinals need speed on the back end of their defense and this is what Ford brings. He’s an aggressive player who needs time in order to develop his instincts and all of the nuances of playing safety…like taking proper angles to the football, play recognition over the top and storming the alleys to make open field tackles.

    Honorable Mention:

    RB Elijhaa Penny — has stood out on STs thus far.
    WR Chad Williams — got his feet wet versus the Colts with a nice chain moving reception.
    C/G Daniel Munyer — he’s got the feet to be very good.
    G Dorian Johnson — give him a year to develop and he will start to turn heads.
    T Will Holden — did a decent job as blocking TE versus Colts, can be a swing tackle.
    DT Rodney Gunter — shows flashes of ability
    DT Xavier Williams — earned a high grade in his run stopping versus the Colts
    DT Olden Pierre — coaches have raved about him, but he hasn’t emerged as a playmaker yet
    LB Kareem Martin — coming off good pre-season in Okafor’s old role
    CB Brandon Williams — showed some encouraging signs of improvement in pre-season

  41. By JTDG on Sep 23, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz,

    You are excited by several who have done nothing in the NFL.

    Gabbert? Showed some good things in preseason and has a big arm. Also is a FA in 2018. How much would you be willing to spend to make him your starter? Are you sure he is the guy? Hasn’t shown anything in real NFL games.

    Carlos Agudosi ?? Who. An undrafted practice squad guy? I have heard the talk about plenty of “studs’ on practice squads who never play. Produce in the NFL before I get excited.

    Ricky Seal Jones??? Play in a game, Catch a pass first in the NFL. I’m excited about my 6th grade nephew. He has the same amount of catches in the NFL. A Big WR who doesn’t know how to block is trying to be a Card TE. Don’t get too excited.

    Boehm couldn’t beat out one of the worse centers in the game. He hasn’t been good so far. Inconsistant

    Wetzel and JJ – The only two that are showing something in the NFL.

    Bucannon – Is he a 8-10 million dollar a year ILB ? That’s what he will get next year.

    Nkemdiche has 1 assist on a tackle and no sacks. Produce MR first round. It is your second year. When he produces in a real game, maybe he can join Wetzel and JJ.

    Rudy Ford ??? Um what. I don’t think I saw anything that warrant him to be kept.

    You are grasping at straws with guys who don’t even play in NFL games. Come on man.

  42. By clssylssy on Sep 23, 2017 | Reply

    Mitchaz…
    Very nice spotlight on the youngsters and nice stab at pumping in some sunshine,
    Nonetheless, I still am a believer that a team must have some elite veterans with the football IQ and experience to show the way. There is just so much that can only be learned by doing the job. Maturity is a major issue with self-discipline and focus and is especially apparent on the road when ,for many of these guys , it’s the first time seeing the world and they are excited at new experiences. Staying on track is difficult without the Vets like Larry, Chris and Pat-
    The fact remains that while Steve Keim has been hunting for hidden gems and looking for inexpensive projects the teams around us have been busy putting together teams that can produce in the short term. The 9ers are a very young roster with a few well placed veterans like Pierre Garson and Navaro Bowman and the Rams have a similar makeup,
    I think the major factor is having a young or young minded coach who is full of new ideas , energetic, is willing to be flexible and able to make the most of the talent he has. BA was that guy for about two seasons but has become no fun, predictable and crabby. You give Steve Keim a lot of credit but he has done NOTHING to fix glaring problems that didn’t occur overnight and have only worsened with injuries that were predictable (this IS football and a full contact sport afterall).
    I do think we could do better than what we’ve shown so far but not as long as the coach is telling everyone that if he had the Broncos players, he would have the roadmap for beating the Cowboys! Can you imagine the message this send to our players? Perhaps to go along with this young roster of up-and-comers, we need a younger coach who believes in his players and can relate on a level that will encourage and bring the best out of them. Stan Kronecke spent money and draft picks on supplementing the players he had which translates to “I believe enough in this team to put my money where my mouth is”, we had the money and SK did next to nothing during the offseason so I don’t know what we should expect but what we’ve seen so far.
    Always a pleasure to read your posts, and thanks for the spark of optomism!

  43. By Scott H on Sep 23, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    Man, the time and effort you put into your posts is just….WOW!

    Keep up the good work, sir.

  44. By mitchaz on Sep 23, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG—

    I know you are a staunch critic of SK. No GM makes all the right moves, but I think SK is a very good evaluator of talent. During the pre-season, I saw in each of these players some things that excited me…things that made me see why SK scouted and signed these players. The reality is that not all of these players are going to pan out, for one reason or anther. But, i don’t think it is for a lack of talent, per se.

    I get that many of these players are totally unproven, and as Bill Parcells always sys, “Potential means you haven’t done anything yet.”

    Clssy—

    I too, especially the last two years, have wondered why SK has seemingly left the team vulnerable at certain positions of need.

    Last year he was counting on Justin Bethel, Evan Mathis, D.J. Humphries, Drew Butler, Michael Floyd, Alex Okafor, Tyvon Branch and an undrafted rookie long snapper.

    In retrospect, some of those decisions backfired on him due to injuries and substandard play.

    This year it was clear that he was going to trust in the guys he already had on the roster…trust in his decision to add three veteran UFAs for added leadership…trust in his draft and UDFA signings while amassing 4 compensatory picks for the 2018 NFL draft.

    I don’t think Keim did enough to help this year’s chances…but I hope I’m wrong. However, if he looked at the current roster and arrived at the decision that an overhaul needs to be made in the next year or two, we might be thanking Keim for his prescience the next few years.

    I don;t know how else to explain it. I agree that right now, this year’s chances are not looking very auspicious. This team got very old in a hurry. That’s why I am trying to get excited about the youth, so i don;t drive myself crazy with frustration.

  45. By Dr. G. on Sep 24, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG…Such an interesting twist you take on the riskit/biscuit thing…I agree on your take of some personnel issues from SK. We have all seen SK pass on some “almost can’t miss” picks when drafting, esp. at QB, DE, and LB along with obvious insurance trades…and trading multiple picks just to get more players for the 10 standby PS players. He is not without reasonable success, however.

    Always drives me up the wall when they waste time to bring in good TEs just to mostly ignore their offensive potential…just get a damn FB instead if you just want blocking.! At least you’ll have a goal line bull dozer! Sorry, this has been buggin’ me since BA got here…as we watch consistent playoff teams employ this effective TE weapon!

    The rest of us take riskit/biscuit as way too much ” long ball, over the top gambling” in double coverage with the little injury-prone speedsters who cannot defend an errant throw to prevent an INT. It’s beautiful when it works, but those plays should be somewhat unpredictable surprises vs routinely readable. ((No, we don’t have a fire plug Antonio Brown who plays faster than his 40 time))

    Stop the run…Dallass is done! Double XX! Go Cards! ((missing DJ))

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